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Attorney: Dumas actions proper

August 21, 2018

KANKAKEE — Former Kankakee interim Police Chief Price Dumas did not act improperly when he had used the Illinois State Police database to investigate two men who were believed to be potential safety concerns to Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong, according to the city attorney.

Michael McGrath, Kankakee’s corporate counsel, stated at Monday’s Kankakee City Council meeting that because law enforcement viewed the individuals as a threat to a public official, the action was justified.

McGrath said he was told by state investigators the department’s actions in accessing the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System were “perfectly proper” and stated there was no violation of the database.

Critics, however, have charged the use of the database has been more for collecting information regarding those opposed to Wells-Armstrong politically.

Dumas resigned his position as police chief on Friday. Deputy Chief Willie Hunt was named acting chief. A nationwide search will be conducted, the mayor said.

After the meeting, she said the search would involve the city council and the public. Wells-Armstrong noted search firms are being interviewed to assist the nationwide search.

Regarding the LEADS system, McGrath said those using the system must be certified, and Dumas is.

“He was working in an official capacity regarding the safety of a public official,” he said. “Nothing improper was done.”

He added that no one from the city has been contacted by any law enforcement department regarding this issue.

In his first city council meeting as acting chief, Hunt, a 21-year member of the department and a 1989 graduate of St. Anne Community High School, declined to comment regarding his new role.

Dumas, a former 13-year Kankakee patrolman before going to the Illinois State Police in 2006, resigned after serving as interim chief here since June 2017.

Attempts to have the “interim” tag removed from his title were unsuccessful as his appointment never gained the needed city council majority.

Ald. Carl Brown, D-7 and chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, thanked Dumas for his service.

“He worked well with me an the constituents of our ward,” he said at the conclusion of Monday’s meeting. “He left because he got tired out. You can only take so much. It’s over with now. Thank him for his service.”

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